Posted tagged ‘budget cuts’

More Cuts

February 25, 2009

The Springfield Republican has a piece on cuts at my former home library.  The Jones Library in Amherst has lost $103k  and is having trouble deciding where they can make cuts.  They lost hours back in ’03 that were never recovered and are already at the minimum needed for state certification.  Furthermore it doesn’t help that one of their trustees is quoted in the article saying that she’s determined to maintain level service, which is a nice sentiment but doesn’t seem possible in the current climate.

I wish everyone at the Jones my best wishes.  They are probably the library that contributes most to our consortia, besides being an amazing library on its own.  They deserve the support of their community and I dearly hope they receive it.

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SOL Part 2

February 5, 2009

More bad news today, Brian Herzog, the premiere library blogger in Mass., reports that budget cuts at his library in Chelmsford may cost them their certification.  I’m picking up a scary trend here.

SOL

February 5, 2009

That stands for save our libraries despite what you may think.  The latest possible casualty of the situation in Mass. is the Winthrop public library.  The town is looking at making up a $511,000 budget shortfall for the year by closing the library down.  Suddenly our problems don’t seem so bad, at least we have some support from the city.

Budget Cuts: Round 2

February 4, 2009

I’m going to keep this short as I’m still not sure just how much I can freely say.  The city’s second round of budget slashing has gone through and unlike the first time when we came out unscathed besides a hiring freeze, we were hit.  Happily our staff shall remain unaffected (besides the increase in stress due to living through these times), but nothing else was.

We’ve lost a sixth of our total book budget for the year, of which we’ve already spent around 60%.  Then there are cuts to supplies, technology, professional development, pretty much all those invisible things that would help us aleviate some of the current concerns of our patrons.

We live in uncertain times.  About the only thing I can count on is that in a few months there will be a round 3.

This Can’t Be Good

October 20, 2008

Last Thursday Governor Patrick announced a billion dollar budget cut to this year’s budget.  Libraries are so far unaffected, with the exception of those at the academic level.  But the economic future for the state is looking pretty bleak right now.

Fitchburg Revisited

August 7, 2008

The Worcester Telegram has an update on the fate of the Fitchburg public library, and this time it was picked up by the ALA’s weekly mailing list.  Things have not improved since the last time I checked.  They’re a month into having their hours reduced to 21 a week and neighboring libraries have gone on record saying they will deny service to Fitchburg patrons when the library’s state certification expries in January (as is standard practice in Mass.).

They are planning to begin a massive fund raising campaign shortly, and I wish them the best of luck.

The View from the Gallery

July 9, 2008

The Fitchburg public library is going through one of the toughest budget crisises in recent memory.  The city is suffering a nearly $5 million defecit this year, and the Mayor is unconvinced that the library is a core service for the city.  Thus this year’s budget negotiations may result in as much as a %75 cut to the library, and I’ve heared reports they will have to reduce their staff and their hours by as much as 2/3rds and may not be able to purchase any new materials for the next year.

And then there is the issue of state certification, which in Massachusetts requires (for a city the size of Fitchburg) certain budgetary standards and a director with an M.L.S.  Meeting these requirements opens up grant opportunities and allows you membership in the statewide library systems.  Fitchburg is not going to make the cut this year, becoming the largest community in the state unable to do so, and to judge from some members of the community they don’t mind.

I really want to be appalled by this, but I can’t say I’m terribly surprised, and judging by the post I just linked to I don’t think there are many pro library advocates in the city.  I’m also curious how much of the thinking revolves around the fact that the neighboring city of Leominster just opened up a brand new library.  I really want to see the shock in Fitchburg when patrons try to go over there to check out books and get turned away because of their uncertified status.  I’ll be keeping an eye on this whole situation.